Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ballad Of Big Nothing

#31DDD Take A Picture Of Your Fridge

Well, I don't have a fridge so there's that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Red Red Red

#31DDD Most Embarrassing Moment Ever

A few moments come to mind. The time in 10th grade when my skirt got caught in my tights as I walked outside. The time when I wore wood shoes for an awards show and the sound echoed every time I walked across the stage. Maybe when I was in the hospital and couldn't do much of anything for myself. I don't even want to think about what I looked like when I was getting my appendix taken out. *shudder*

I'm gonna go with something that happened recently. Does crying on stage sound embarrassing to you? Here's the story:

I was playing in an orchestra concert a couple weekends ago and we were coming up to one of the Nutcracker movements that I had some pretty major parts in. The whole Nutcracker suite brings me a lot of anxiety because of some bad experiences I've had with it before. (And yeah, now I pretty much am convinced the thing is cursed.) I was ready, though. The night before it had gone well and I just had to get through it one more time...but my clarinet all of a sudden wouldn't play. Like, would. not. play. And, mind you, this is a new (to me) clarinet so I don't know it's patterns and behaviors. I fiddled with it urgently and then 3rd clarinet player took it to look at as I grabbed my other clarinet- the one in a different key. I knew I could transpose the part I needed to play, but by then my hands were shaking and I was about to start crying. The first couple of notes were fine, but then I hit a wrong one and just stopped. I do NOT believe in "if you make a mistake, make it loud." Oh hell no. So I sat out the rest and tried to gather my composure for the Waltz.

By this time, though, I was a lost cause. My kryptonite is probably that I cry about anything and everything. And once I start crying, that's it. So imagine me being on stage, in front of hundreds of people, with my eyes watering. Yeah, Lost Cause. At this point the 3rd clarinet had figured out what was wrong (a faulty spring), but I was just trying to not have my nose run and my eyes give up the fight. (I really regretted my sweater choice and its lack of absorbancy.) I really didn't start crying for real until after the concert was over and mostly it was just the stress of it all and my disappointment with not playing my part. But talk about mortifying.

The 3rd clarinet, my hero, leaned over when it was over and said, "You're never going to want to play the Nutcracker again."

Oh how right she was. And you know what I've realized? 9 out of 10 holiday commercials use the effing Nutcracker as it's music. The piece is haunting me! I keep hearing where my part is and I remember it all over again! Damn you, Tchaikovsky8!

*Just kidding. I love that Russian.

+ Title from Fiona Apple

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Voice Within

#31DDD Last Album/Song I Bought:

It's funny because if I had written this post on the day the prompt was announced, my answer would have been totally different. I guess that means I buy a lot of CDs. I hadn't for a few months. Nothing was really sounding good to me and I was trying to save money, but then last week, BAM! I wanted everything!
Technically, the last album I bought is by Dia Frampton. You may remember her from The Voice and you're probably thinking, "You bought her whole album!?" I think, with the exception of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, most of those reality show winners suck. Don't even get me started on Ruben Studdard and Fantasia! Oh. My. Gawd.
But man, I heard Dia Frampton cover Kanye West's Heartless and I just had to have it! The cover isn't on the CD, but that same sound is. Breathy, pitch-perfect singing with lots of energy.

What's the last album you bought!?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Somewhere Else

Day 4: Write about the best experience you’ve had in another country.

The moment I stepped off the plane, I knew I was somewhere very special. For years I had dreamed about visiting this land rich in history and heritage and finally, FINALLY I was here. Suitcase in hand, camera charged, and a smile that couldn’t be paid away, I was ready to explore and love.
I am the type of person who knows she will love something or somewhere even before experiencing it. How could I not? I have had the map of this country pinned above my bed for years. No part of my being would allow me to finally make it to this part of the world and not completely enjoy every single second of it.
I think my favorite part was the accents. It had only been here and there, and mostly on TV, that I had gotten to hear this particular accent so to be where almost everyone has it was overwhelming…and confusing. “What?” “Pardon?” “Um, no?” And yes, I admittedly forgot to pay attention to the words sometimes as I just listened to how they were pronounced. I am a sucker for an accent.
So yes, the guys were high on my list to do. (Kidding! I kid.) In all honesty, I did go there with the fantasy of falling in love with a native who would sweep me off my tired, touristy feet and begin a whirlwind romance with me that would end with him coming to America to find me and declare his love and say that he needed (needed!) me to come back with him. And I would go, because he would be wealthy and able to encourage me to play in orchestras and would pay for me to visit my family often. Our children would be so cute and would have little baby accents. Baby accents are the best!
That didn’t happen, but that’s okay. I still had a great time. The pubs were amazing and I have to say, I was quite the hit with the locals. It’s not often my ability to drink a lot of beer gets me cool points, but it certainly worked there. I was the girl who always had a pint in her hand and kept asking people to say certain words so I could hear their accents more.
When I wasn’t in the bars, I was exploring. The city was a photographer’s dream and I took so many pictures that I ended up buying another memory card while there. Every building had a history older than my homeland and the overcast sky provided the perfect lighting for pictures. I even had some luck getting the locals to pose for pictures that I will forever cherish. They make me laugh every time I look at them and I can’t wait to go back to visit as soon as possible.
I left a little piece of myself there when I finally got on the plane to come home. Not that I don’t love America, but I feel such a connection to this other place. This country that plays a part in my ancestry and continually amazes me with the music and greatness that comes out of it. I’ll be back. I know I will. And maybe next time my fantasy will come true and I can start to call Scotland home, too.

This post was written from the future as I have never actually been to Scotland. But this is pretty much how I know it will go. I will love it. 

+ Title from Travis


#31DDD Day 3:

Tell Me About Your Grandfather

The worst part about what I am about to write is the use of the past tense. The best part is that I have three wonderful people I have been lucky enough to call Grandfather.
What I love about grandparents, besides their incredible love, is the names children make up to call them. I remember nine years ago when my aunt was about to become a first time grandmother and was trying to decide what name she wanted to be called. Mamere was her top choice and while I laughed at the thought of a baby using this French title, it also made me smile to think of a new set of grandchildren growing up with their own special grandparent.
My dad’s dad was always Grandpap to us. He lived in Pennsylvania and I have such great memories of our visits up there. He passed away when I was only 11 so to have such a rich and clear memory of him is something I cherish. He was also the only living member from my dad’s side of the family. My dad’s mother and brother died when he was pretty young, so Grandpap was it. Visiting him was special and my brother and sister and I always loved to go up there. We always ate at a truck stop restaurant my grandpap loved and we would stay in the guest bedroom in the basement. I remember watching a lot of Benny Hill and seeing those DVDs still reminds me of my grandfather.
My “extra” grandfather is Bob. My half brother (only in genetics!) started calling his dad’s dad Bob when he was little and it stuck. Bob was really cool and he always treated my sister and I like his own grandchildren. My best memory of Bob is when my family would go on vacation to Ocean City, MD and he would make us brunch when we first got there. They had a condo for years and it was one of my favorite places until they sold it about 10 years ago. We would get there at about 11am and Bob would be cooking up a storm. He would send my siblings and I out to the balcony with a bowl of steamed shrimp to work on as we waited for everything to be ready. He would make his special eggs, bacon, sausage, cantaloupe, fried potatoes and anything else you could imagine. It was so delicious and the perfect way to begin a week at the beach.
The grandfather I spent the most time with was my mom’s dad, Granddad. He passed away just a few years ago and it was one of the toughest things to go through. He had always been the rock of the family. Never ill, always there, and he just kept on truckin’. My grandmother was the one who had back problems, diabetes, and even a stroke about five years ago. I don’t think anyone thought that my grandfather would be the first to pass away. He was there for Thanksgiving and then started to feel ill. That was the year my brother got married on New Years Eve and I think he held on until after that. I will never forget visiting him in the hospital and seeing how small he looked. He said, ‘I’m not doing too well, honey.” And I told him I loved him and that was that last time I saw him.
Granddad was awesome, though. We called him “The Godfather” because he would take the whole family (10+  people sometimes) out to dinner, sit at the head of the table and just let everybody get whatever they wanted. He was incredibly generous and part of that came from the success he made for himself. He came back from World War II after being a paratrooper (because it paid more) and started his own business that is still running today.
It makes me sad that I only have memories of my grandfathers left, but I also feel so fortunate to have had three. They all made me who I am today.

+ Title from Beck

Monday, December 05, 2011

Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

Day 2: Write a  poem to an apple.

Crunchy and raw.
Red death.
Skin that lays on my kitchen counter.
An itch and burning deep inside.
An answer that comes with pain and regret.
Bite down.
So sweet. So sweet.

+Title from Belle & Sebastian

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning.

Why are YOU participating in #31DDD?

Why am I participating? Honestly? Because I want to be a writer. Sure, I’ve had a blog for over 10 years now and can definitely get my point across, but I have bigger aspirations. I want to write a book. I’m working on it, but it’s slow-going. I have two book ideas and while I have shelved (haha) one for now, I am quite excited about the other. It’s tough, though. The advice from other writers is to “just start writing” and yeah, I’ve started, but I need to get to that point where I realize that it’s not going to come out as a finished product. I want every sentence I compose to be perfect and it is creating quite the obstacle to getting much actually completed.
So, I’m going to do this writing challenge and hope that I, at least, get more comfortable with how I write and what I write. I look forward to the questions that D and D bring us!

+Title from Smashing Pumpkins